I ate everything as a child. But that was more of a curse than a blessing. I’ll never know where the insatiable appetite came from. I was greedy. Always had room for seconds, thirds, sometimes fourths. I once stole a packet of Spar burger bites from the coat pocket of a younger kid at school. My weight in stones matched my age in years until about 15 when it started to level off a bit – despite buying more than the boys at the break time tuck shop.
Aged 7 (right)
Aged 17 I thought I should lose a little bit of weight. I joined a slimming club and dropped 32 kg (that’s five stone in old money) in six months. That wasn’t particularly good news either. Nothing could have prepared me for becoming that thin(ner) person that every single person commented on, wherever I went. I temporarily felt like a bit of a celebrity which is cool, at that age, until you’re shaking in your parents’ pantry two thirds of the way through a box of Cadbury’s chocolate fingers and petrified the paparazzi is watching.
I’ve suffered from body dysmorphia for as long I can remember. I do this weird thing of sucking my cheeks in every time I look in the mirror (and I never noticed this until a subtle as a sledge hammer Danish flatmate called me out on it in 2003). As a kid, I began to tilt my head back for every photo such was the paranoia developing around my double chin. I honestly couldn’t tell you what I actually look like. I wish I knew.
But what I do know is I travel along the most wonderful path to recovery every single day. I’ve reached a point I never thought possible. I’ve had my cake and eaten it so many times this past year in particular and I’ve enjoyed and felt in control of every single mouthful. But I’m still scared, really scared.
I hope we’ll start a family one day and I never, ever want our kids to go through what I did. I want them to live their happiest, healthiest life possible, with good food at the heart of it. I want them to be able to make choices for themselves, I don’t want them to torture themselves with good and / or bad and more than anything I can’t wait to sit down, with them, the next generation, enjoying many a nourishing meal together.
Are you a parent? How do you support your kids to have a healthy (for both the body and mind) relationship with food?
**Ocado is asking kids what they want. They’re looking for junior food critics to form a tasting panel and share their thoughts on likes and dislikes. You can read more here. This isn’t a sponsored post. It’s my commitment and keenness to nourish the next generation and hopefully learn from all those already wonderful parents out there. Thanks for taking the time to help. All comments are very gratefully received.**